Good changes happening. Anyone want to identify agencies that are the friendliest for LGBT foster parents? Years ago my LGTB foster parent friends named only one agency that was accepting but I don’t remember which.
About the connection between Jacket's mom's attorney and my licensing exam
I thought I had posted about this before, but maybe not as a lot of long-time readers have asked. I was probably trying to avoid scaring professional foster parents away lest they fear having a similar occurrence. I’m confident my experience is rare. If you haven’t read about Jacket, her mom’s attorney and the insanity that ensued several years ago, you might want to skip this- it’s old news.
When Jacket hit the 17 month mark in foster care, her mom’s attorney went into overdrive- and directly after me. It was effective. I strongly believe that Jacket was returned so abruptly because the ACS attorney was trying to protect me. Here’s what Jacket’s mom’s attorney did:
1. subpoenaed all of my emails with the law guardian’s social worker assigned to the case (I always knew this was a possibility but it’s extremely rare)
2. after reading the emails she filed a complaint with the ny licensing board (the one attached to my LMHC) arguing that my work email signature falsely indicated I was a psychologist. Actually, she filed 4 pages of complaints, but this was the only one the licensing board accepted and questioned me on.
3. The next day she told the court (I wasn’t there) something about my testimony not being reliable because my clinical license “was under investigation”- an investigation she started. So smart and so shady! I was effectively bullied out of testifying. I guess that makes her a good attorney for Jacket’s mom.
In the end, my LMHC wasn’t affected at all and it was an open and shut case that left me with a clean record. My work signature was correctly written as
"Rebecca ________, PhD, LMHC
"LMHC" is a master’s level license of "licensed mental health counselor". "Psychologist" was my actually job title- as it was the job title given for everyone with my job across the state of NY in OPWDD contracted agencies. The licensed psychologist had the title "Licensed Psychologist" and the extra salary to go with it. I didn’t make up my job title so I was in the clear. I was also in the clear because not all psychologists are clinical psychologists, I was/am a cognitive psychologist. There are developmental psychologists, school psychologists, social psychologists, industrial psychologists, and so on. Lastly, I found out I was in the super-duper clear because my place of employment fell under the state’s “Exempt status” of needing me to be a licensed psychologist in order to have the title psychologist. This only expired this year as the state and Medicaid restructure things.
So, when I was called in by the licensing board I handed them a copy of my job description with the title “Psychologist” and that was that. They said it was the shortest interview they’ve ever done. Nonetheless, I was completely freaked-out by the experience and in constant communication with my clinical supervisors about it at work. They were fantastic and out of the experience they suggested that I get licensed specifically as a clinical psychologist. At the time, I didn’t realize that I qualified but it turned out that I had all of the classes, clinical hours, etc. I just had to take the exam.
As you can see, I can quite literally thank Jacket’s mom’s attorney for motivating me to get licensed at the doctoral level. :)
Also, lesson learned- I don’t use my work email anymore to communicate with foster care players.
Again, don’t be scared off. Jacket’s mom’s attorney is infamous in her family courthouse for being wacko. I was told she does this kind of thing on all of her cases and to not take it personally (impossible for me). I could almost guarantee that this would never happen to you as a foster parent.
which were $7 a carton, I got them using the WIC Farmer’s Market checks. I LOVE the farmer’s market WIC checks. We get around $60 worth for the season. I posted about them years ago with Jacket and how the program has a really hard time getting participants to use them. They were so desperate to get folks to try them out that they were telling us we could use the checks to get a pumpkin for Halloween. I’m glad the program has lasted.
I can’t believe how quickly 6 weeks have gone by. I go back to work August 1st and I’m already sad. Every day is taken up with something such as foster care appointments, visits, pink-eye pediatrician appointments, etc etc. While I enjoy spending time with the girls regardless, I was hoping for more of the “Disney Dad” experience. There just hasn’t been time.
The first 3 weeks were used studying for the EPPP, the exam to become a licensed psychologist. This thanks to Jacket’s mom’s attorney of course. I didn’t want to blog about it because I didn’t know if I’d pass, but I did so I’m quite pleased. The last 3 nights before the exam I actually slept in my office to get quality sleep away from the girls and to keep my study pattern going. Asia stayed with Clementine and Sandy and I’d come home twice a day to play and eat dinner with them.
This past week I’ve been consumed with considering a job change (one that’s more family friendly and with flexible hours) and with a new job might come a new neighborhood which has me thinking about schools for the girls which turns into an ocean of thoughts and considerations.
On the fun side, I’m cooking a lot more for the Sandy and Clementine. I’ve started to let Sandy ‘help’ me because I have the time to clean up the extra mess. I’m not too exhausted to read the girls’ favorite books to them as many times as they’d like.
I bought the girls matching toddler beds (have to wait for a nap to put them together) and had several photos of them blown up to poster size and framed. There’s one of the first week Clementine came and she’s snuggled up and asleep on Sandy’s chest while Sandy is laying stiffly in shock. Hopefully I’m not jinxing Sandy’s adoption goal by putting giant photos of her up around the apartment.
It’s no surprise that Clementine also got pink-eye. Try telling 1-year-olds to not put their fingers in each other’s eyes, not to lick one another’s eyes, or not to rub their faces against each other. Hint: it doesn’t work.
But here’s what I want to write about, Clementine LOVES EYE DROPS. She is the craziest. After she’s received her dosage she grunts and reaches for more. When the eye drop bottle comes out she claps her hands and throws her head back in anticipation- who does that? Sandy on the other hand, when I so much as say “eye drops” she starts throwing chairs.
Meghan found a lovely lady to babysit Snap’s brother for $125 a week. She’s ACS approved and whatnot and keeps another little boy. The lady babysat for her neighbors for 10 years and only lives 1 block away.
Spoke to Clementine’s bio great-aunt last night. She went on and on about how happy she is that Runfostermama and I have the kids and are providing them with such a variety of life experiences. Very sweet of her.
Get Ready For It, MY BEST FOSTER CARE EXPERIENCE EVER
Sandy has pink-eye and for the first time I needed to get a prescription filled for her. I took it to my local pharmacy along with the special card from the foster agency that essentially says this-is-a-foster-child-and-what’s-on-this-card-is-the-only-info-you’re-going-to-get-so-suck-it. The pharmacist was all “What is this?” we need her actual Medicaid card. I explained that I’ll never have it, foster parents never get it, he’ll never get it and supposedly the special numbers on the card are to magically transmit to Medicaid the real number.
[Pause here to think about what kind of ridiculous fraud must have happened by foster parents in the past for us not to be trusted with foster kids’ Medicaid cards]
I asked the pharmacist to call the foster agency but he pointed to the foster agency name and said “I hate dealing with places like this”. I was in a shi-shi pharmacy and I wanted to say “Yes, abused and neglected children are a giant inconvenience, it’s too bad that competent people like you don’t contribute to make the system better” - but I bit my tongue. Instead, I called the agency on speaker phone and made him deal with it. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I was connected to the medical director who told him it was his problem. They argued. Sandy screamed for $17 cough drops inches from her grasp.
THEN, the medical director told me that the foster agency has a contract with a pharmacy that delivers within all 5 boroughs. I could just fax the script to her. I got bold “I don’t have a fax but I can scan, any chance I could scan and email it?” YES.
And get this, IT WORKED. A DUDE CAME TO MY HOUSE TONIGHT WITH SANDY’S EYE DROPS.
REPEAT, I SCANNED a prescription, EMAILED IT to the foster agency and HOURS LATER SOMEONE SHOWED UP AT MY DOOR WITH MEDICATION.
Soooooooooo fantastic. I wish they’d take my prescriptions as well!
My Babble.com gig has totally changed. There’s a lot less of us now and Disney is emphasizing quality over quantity, which I like. Instead of 14 posts a month, I only have to write 4. I’ll post them here every once in a while instead of the monthly round-ups but if you want to catch them all my twitter or pinterest feeds are probably your best bet.
Teacher no-showed, they tossed in a woman who’s been at the agency for 1 month. The foster parents are eating this poor woman alive. “Why don’t you feed me, I’m hungry!”, “Yeah, donuts ain’t no good”. 10 minutes in and they already pulled 2 veteran foster parents out of class for being so disruptive.
Remember when I said the cosleeping thing was going to be an issue? Well, guess how many towels and blankets Sandy gets up and tosses into Clementine’s bed all night long (hence, I wasn’t sleeping last night and was posting at 3am). I’m scared she’ll suffocate.
Well, I would like to announce success. Last night Sandy successfully traded an open Chapstick ball (the kind Asia has that she’s obsessed with) in exchange for the her nest of towels.
There’s an attorney on one of my girls’ cases that doesn’t have anything locked down on their Facebook page. I only even came across their page because I was looking up a fax number. Here are some highlights:
He/she “Likes” the king james version of the bible, “bikini girls with BICEPS”, victoria secret, “boob planet” and “Living Word Bible Church”. “Just Leggings”, Bronx GOP, candid beach thongs, “Brooklyn Family Court”, Miss DANA Marie, Rand Paul, Bronx Youth Empowerment, Verizon Wireless, Law office of ____________ (about 20 of these), “_______ Family Cleaning”, “Jaw Dropping Babes”, his/her acupuncturist’s name, Walmart, Mona Lisa Cosmetic Surgery, “How to get fit over 50”, ___location___ of his/her favorite Applebees”, The Children’s Aids Society, I heart being Catholic, Theresa Caputo, GEM Magazine for the Long Island Woman, “Focus On The Family”, Kate Upton, Brooklyn Law School, Megan Fox, Mother Theresa
and his Timeline, oh his Timeline….
there’s pictures of just his muscles, a picture of his pool, lots of pictures of his 3 kids, friends on timeline telling him/her he’s/she’s sexy, deep thoughts about homeless people, his “check-ins” (looks like a Foursquare thing knock-off?) with maps to the gym and/or specific family courts almost daily, the obligatory thanks for the birthday wishes post, a thank you to all of his clients IN ALL CAPS FOR THEIR TESTIMONIES ON HIS WEBSITE, constant details of his insomnia…
Since I’m off work, I’ve been doing all of the family visits for the girls at the foster agency to give Asia a break. I hate it. Two full days a week are ruined with stress and fussy babies. The patronizing lectures, petty complaints, I’m over it all. I was supervising Clementine’s visit and staff that I don’t know started freaking out on Clementine’s birth dad because he let her crawl on the floor for 2 seconds (he was about to pick her up). Really? I’m right here. She’s my kid and I’m fine with it. There’s a lot worse that could happen here- like, way worse. Can you not hear what’s going on down the hall?
So bleh. I find myself daydreaming these days of moving to Japan with the girls. I lived there for a year and a half many moons ago and I’ve been back several times. It’s sooooooooo calm. I lived in Kobe (Shukugawa to be exact) which is close to both Osaka and Kyoto. The girls could go to an adorable preschool there and life could be very, very charming.
I need to do it. Since I’ve lost contact with her mom I want to send a copy to her dad before he gets released from prison this fall.
I really don’t want to take a trip down memory lane, it’s sad and I want to stay focused on Sandy and Clementine. Maybe there’s a die hard Jacket fan or two that would be willing to select 5 or 6 of their favorite posts which capture the unique personality and joy that she is? I could pop the snippets of text into the photo album and then maybe at a later date do a more complete edition.
Tonight was strangely much easier with the addition of Clementine’s 4 year-old brother. Like 10 times easier. Dinner, bath, pajamas, cleaning up the toys- everything. It’s funny how different kids are from each other. 20 Clementines still wouldn’t be as much work as 1 Sandy. Although I should bite my tongue seeing as we haven’t even hit the twos yet.
Meghan’s bringing over Snap’s brother for Asia and I to babysit while she’s at work. Also, I’m picking up one of Clementine’s brothers from preschool at 2pm (bussing issues) and Runfostermama will pick him up tonight.